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EV fast charging portfolio embraces all global standards

04 April 2013

ABB is supporting the new electrical vehicle (EV) combined charging system (CCS) global standard, now adopted in Europe and North America, with the expansion of its EV fast charging product portfolio. Les Hunt reports.

The new multi-standard functionality will be available in Europe in the second quarter of 2013 and will include a special CCS version for car dealerships, followed by a targeted launch in the USA in the second half of 2013. The expansion of the ABB fast charging portfolio brings together European standardisation and fast charging technology designed to reduce infrastructure complexity and improve charging compatibility across all EV brands.

Back in February, the UK government announced a £37m package for home and on-street charging, and for new charge points for people parking plug-in vehicles at railway stations. It is part of a larger £400m set aside by the government to encourage the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles.

The grants are quite generous – 75 percent of the cost of installing new charge points can be claimed by individuals installing charge points where they live; by local authorities who provide on-street charging for residents who have requested it, and by train operators who install the equipment at railway stations.

ABB’s expanded portfolio also has the benefit of its cloud-based charging management platform enabling remote management and extensive interfacing with any available payment method charging service provider network or smart grid system. This also enables EV infrastructure providers to incorporate any global charging standard, be it CCS or the CHAdeMO protocol (developed in Japan), into their charging network without absorbing the high costs of software integration and testing. Users can simply tailor their installed base of fast chargers depending on the amount of CCS or CHAdeMO legacy cars available in a specific region.

ABB was the first company to demonstrate a working prototype of the CCS standard at EV26 in Los Angeles and at eCarTec in Munich in 2012. ABB’s EV fast charging portfolio for the ‘charge-and-go’ segment will continue to feature the Terra 51 CHAdeMO fast charging station, as well as a single port 50kW CCS fast charging station and the 50kW multi-standard CHAdeMO/CCS station, optionally equipped with fast ac outlet. A 20kW variant is due to be launched in both single CCS and multi-standard outlets later this year as a logical addition to the current CHAdeMO 20kW station for offices and retail locations.

A fast charging debut in Hackney
ABB is currently European market leader in deploying and managing nationwide EV charging networks. To date, the company has helped facilitate the creation of nationwide charging infrastructure networks, notably in Estonia, and throughout Denmark.

In February, the first ever ABB Terra Smart Connect (SC) dc charging unit to be made available for public use in the UK was unveiled by the Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe, at the world-famous photographic venue, Holborn Studios.

The Terra SC allows drivers to plug in their compatible EV and, as well as the usual overnight or four-hour charging facility, the unit can boost the car’s power from 30 to 80 percent in just 30 minutes. The Holborn Studios charging station joins the growing Source London network of EV chargers and was installed with the aid of funding provided by Transport for London and Hackney Council. ABB’s Martin Hale takes up the story:

“Convenient charging with the Terra SC is perfectly suited for destinations where you typically spend around an hour such as offices, restaurants, health clubs, entertainment venues, shops and car parks. The growing number of electric vehicles is driving a global market opportunity for charging systems, including sophisticated monitoring systems and software to support the electric grid.

Since launching Europe’s first commercially operated fast-charging station in May 2010, ABB has delivered and installed hundreds of fast charging stations across Europe including nationwide networks in Estonia, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Belgium and Ireland.”

Indeed, Northern Ireland has 14 rapid charge points across the province, nine of which form part of the ecar network, a project led by the Department for Regional Development and the Department of Environment, with the charge points being owned and operated by Northern Ireland Electricity.

The ecar network features ABB’s Terra 52, a multi-standard rapid charging station that is compatible with all electric vehicles currently on the road. Providing dc charging at 50kW, it is both CHAdeMO and EN61851-1 compliant, the latter standard relating to ac charging up to 22kW.

ABB’s involvement with ecar came about as a result of its experience of building the world’s first nationwide electric vehicle charger network in Estonia, a project which saw 165 chargers deployed in just 12 months. A similar project in Denmark saw ABB install 50 chargers in only three months.

For more information about ABB's EV charging products, click here.


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